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The Press. (Cortland, N.Y.) 1972-1990, November 18, 1988, Image 14

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FOURTEEN/The Press/Friday, November 18, 1988 'Current Affairs' ••• Campus acts of racism rises By ARU N A BALLAD IN Current Affairs Editor and MAR\'AM TASNIF Asst. Entertainment Editor Kristallnact, the \night of the broken glass\ marked the night the Nazis went on a rampage killing ninety-one Jews and sending 25,000 to 30,000 more to concentration 1 camps. This was the beginn- ing of the holocaust resulting in the slaughter of millions of 1 Jews, Gypsies, Catholics and Homosexuals. Thursday, November 10 was not only the 50th an- niversary of Kristallnact, but also the coming together of over 450 students in the Van Hoesen Auditoria who spoke 1 out against prejudice and discrimination. Faculty, students and staff gathered for a vigil against bigotry and intolerance. At SUNY Albany last semester there were a series of incidents where racial slurs were written on the doors of students of minority groups. At SUCC several in- cidents have occurred in the past year. Last year a black student was beaten on Grot- ton Avenue. A professor's life was threatened to such an extent that he left the college for a few days. This semester public safety reported four specific incidents: 1) A fight between two students resulting in a chip- ped tooth. Anti-semitic com- ments were made during and after the fight. Disposition- criminal arrest for assault and dismissal from college. 2) Three black female students verbally harassed. Disposition- perpetrator identified and referred to the college court. 3) Three male students (two black and one Jewish) recieved harassing phone calls of a racial and anti- semitic nature, apparantly from the same individual. Disposition- investigation continuing. 4) Three black males ver- bally harassed; racial remarks made and rocks allegedly thrown. Dispostion- investigation continuing. l )Two incidents where things were hurled out a win- dow at a black student. This month ~everal in- cidents occurred, according to Rich Paegler of the counseling center: 2) A dynamo bottle filled with liquid was hurled out a window of Clark Hall at a black student. 3) A student was verbally harassed over the phone. Those students recognizing Kristallnact spoke out against intolerance of dif- ferences evident in these in- cidents on campus. Professor Sanford Gut- man History, gave the hist~rical perspective of Kristallnact, which he stated \gains its name from the shattered glass and shattered lives.\ He ended with \Do not be a by-stander. Do not tolerate the Dehumanization.\ Todd Warren, CCSA Task force, asked the compelling question - \How long can Cortland be silent?'' Paegler stated that the vigil reflects a collective cons- cience. Paegler said \We can lick this thing ... \ in terms of making Cortland College a place where students will be comfortable. In the wake of such a large turn out he said he feels confident that Cort- land can make positive strides and postive gains. ·'We learn from the past to help us live in the future,\ said President Clark, who stressed that intolerance, in all of its manifestations, has no place in this college and will not be tolerated. He also said that intolerance is a virus against which civiliza- tion is not strong. He con- cluded with \To fail in duty through apathy is to fail the communitv.\ Linda Kuk, v1ce President , of student Affairs, stressed the importance in reporting all incidents regardless of triviality She called on students to trust authorities who will work to irradicate problems. She also pointed out that sharing the differences that separate us is essential and necessary. Bruce Atkins, president ot UUP, stressed that it is necessary to learn to see in strangers the same needs pre- sent in us. Joseph Amuso, CC~A Task force, pointed out the reality of these incidents on campus and the need to build awareness. \In America everyone is entitled to their personal opinion. The racists may say that his/her's is the minority opinion. Well, the Nazi-facist view was the minority opinion.'' countered Amuso·. He aiso stressed that this is a call to be uncomfortable and take a stand, \Be courageous, have strength, be willing to speak out for iustice.\ The i .. ght ended with a short speech from Howard Botwinick, Economics, who asked that each person pre- sent spread the news to at least three people who were not present. Following was a candle light march to the interfaith center where both chaplain Wilcox offered a prayer and Gutman sang a prayer. The m~:ssage of this vigil and of the 50th Anniversary. of Kristallnact is that the students of Cortland must learn that difference is not an abstract idea. Difference is real and we all share dif- f·-rences. It was a call to stand up and speak out against intolerance. As Gutman pointed out, what will you say or do the next time your roommate, friend, brother or sister makes a slur against a minority group? Whatever you do, do not remain a bystander to intolerance. ~different view of intolerance By AXlE ROMA Special to The Press My life began only about six months ago, and since dy- ing is unavoidable, Mother Nature has decided that my life will end within the next couple of weeks. I realize that this may sound grim, but it is quite the contrary. I have lead a full life and my offspring will carry on my traits. My mother carried me till birth, and afterwards she passed away. Inevitably, she froze to death, leaving me alone in a world of \survival of the fittest\ For the first hve months after being born, I made my home in the cold and damp soil. Although it was dark, I always felt secure because the soil was tightly packed around me. Since it was wintertime, instinctively I knew not to come out of my burrow until my surroun- dings started warming up a bit. I remained dormant for that period of my life, curiously waiting to see the \big world\ that was above me. I couldn't wait. When the day came, I was aware of it. Stretching my body as far as I could, I gradually started working my way up to the surface, grow- ing closer and closer every- day. Then after several days of trying to find my way, I finally saw the light. It was the most intense light that I had ever seen. Inspiring me with it's vibrance and warmth, it gave me the energy that I needed to grow. I depended on it fgr all 1fiY basic, but essential aeeds. and without it, I couldn't live. As I started developing more, I saw my neighboring companions grow also. I made my roots next to a lar~e swampy pond, my mam source of water. I've been content living in the rural area. I haven't had to deal with the daily ''hustle bustle\ of the city life. Dogs barking, whispers of car engines in the distance, rustl- ing leaves, and water ripples from the pond hitting the shoreline were the sounds that I would hear daily. Oc- casionally, I would hear a gunshot from the local hunters. All in all, it's been peaceful, yet the war always haunts me. The war'! Yes, the war. Although I wasn't an actual participant, many of my close friends were victims. It has had a great impact on my life. It all started when farmmg began. Since that time, my kind has been discriminated against. We've always been considered a nuisance to the farmer. Not only do we grow almost everywhere in the world, but we are not very colorful or attractive, nor are most of us edible. My first encounter with the discrimination was on a beautiful day when a couple of people decided to take a nature hike. See; I had a beautiful violet as a neighbor, and me of course, well I was just the typical green. As the two individuals neared us, they almost step- ped on the bright flower. \Watch it!\ each exclaimed. Then they preceded to step on me, causing great pain, not only physically, but men- tally also. I lost one of my limbs, but fortunately, I can still function without it. My self confidence had greatly minimized after the incident, but I kept trying to remind myself that all nature is beautiful in its own way, and that the beauty they saw in the violet was only skin deep. Only then did I realize the in- tensity of dislike toward my kind. A couple of weeks after my accident, the war began. It was only about three weeks into the spring. The lady who owned the plot of land next to ours decided to plant her yearly garden. She started killing all my neighbors who were living on that piece of land. One by one she would pull them out of the ground in rows, without a thought. Some tried to hang on to their dear lives, their roots digging into the soil, but it was never a success. All of the victims were thrown into a pile, and wheelbarrowed somewhere they couldn't be seen. Sometimes they were burned along with the decayed leaves which were raked up from the lawn. We all sat and stared at the fascist dictator, wondering what she would do next, but she was unaffected by the lives she was taking. When she was all done clearing the plot of land she wanted, which only took a day or two, she planted flowers, lettuce, tomatoes and some other beautiful plants which we apparently were not. Often some of my species would try moving back into the area, but being the minority, we were bann- ed from living on the land. My neighborhood watched the garden develop into a beautiful Eden, jealous that we didn't look that lovely. My neighbors and I couldn't help but notice how con- ceited the flowers were, stick- ing their petals in the breeze, knowing they were the ones to always get the attention. Once all of the busy bodies were picked from the garden out of our sight, we didn't have to worry about the gossip they'd spread about us \low-lifes.\ I guess the most exciting moment since then was only about a month or two ago when my children were con- ceived. Although it only hap- pened once, I will always remember the wonderful ex- perience because I am going to have about forty to fifty offspring, which will look almost exactly like me. I now carry them in my pod in separate cases, and I will let them go shortly before I die, as my mother did with me. 1 have on1y a snort t1me to live. My neighbors and I are all turning brown. I'm not as strong as I used to be. My stems are all brittle and I fear that the slightest wind may cause them to break. My leaves are starting to shrivel, showing my laugh lines, and my roots have lost the firm grip that they once had. I've decided to be buried under the first snow with all of my lifetime companions. As the biting frost nibbles at my leaves and the song of the migrating geese fades, ~ am reminded of the wmter silence too soon. ~~~~& ~(3[1(p~ The Apocalypse is back in the PRESS No excuses ... get involved in campus activities. No time to say the word boredom WAKE UP READ THE ..

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